Netherlands Air Force Pilates PC-7 trainer

The Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer is a low-wing tandem-seat training aircraft, manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. The aircraft is capable of all basic training functions including aerobatics, instrument, tactical and night flying.


The PC-7 is based on the earlier piston-powered Pilatus P-3. The first prototype (manufactured from a modified P-3) flew on 12 April 1966, but after a crash the PC-7 programme was shelved.

In 1973 the programme was restarted and another P-3 was obtained from the Swiss Air Force. After modification, this aircraft flew on 12 May 1975. Further extensive modifications followed later in the programme, including a new one-piece wing with integral fuel tanks, an altered tailfin and a bubble canopy.

The first production aircraft flew on 18 August 1978. Swiss civil certification followed on 5 December of the same year, with deliveries starting immediately thereafter.

The PC-7 Mk II is a development of the PC-9's airframe and avionics, fitted with the PC-7's smaller turbine to lower operating and maintenance costs. It is used by the South African Air Force, with sixty examples having been manufactured. The aircraft were assembled in South Africa from kits supplied by Pilatus. The value of the contract was estimated to be USD 175 million in 1993. Four PC-7 Mk II aircraft are used by the air force of Brunei.

The aircraft is also used by private customers and is both FAA and FOCA civil certified in order to comply to the general aviation regulations in Europe and the USA.

PC-7 Specifications
Type Basic Trainer
Manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft
Accommodation Two (student and instructor)
Armament Six hard points for bombs and rockets

Max speed 290 mph (460 km/h)

Wing Span 33ft (10m)
Length 33ft (10m)
Height 10ft 10in (3.3m)
Weight empty weight 3,680lb (1,670kg), max take off weight 5,900lb(2,500kg)
Powerplant One Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-25C, producing 700 shp (522 kW)